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Without Cars, This Neighborhood’s Streets Will Be ‘More Recreative,’ Says Design Firm


Without Cars, This Neighborhood’s Streets Will Be ‘More Recreative,’ Says Design Firm

May 25, 2021
Neighborhood block party
Photo: Monkey Business |

By eliminating parking from the streets of its upcoming Hamburg neighborhood, a Dutch design firm says more respect will be given to residents. The neighborhood is not entirely car-free, just street parking-free, says design firm Karres en Brands. Restricting street parking will change the streetscape and public spaces for the 7,000-home neighborhood, the firm argues. It will also include 5,000 office spaces and will be built next to a train station that can get commuters to the center of Hamburg in just 15 minutes, says Fast Company. Cars are allowed, though, and can be parked in local parking garages.

For those who want to drive, there will be parking garages in the area, with ground-level space dedicated to other uses, from gyms to indoor farming. But the distance to the garages is just far enough that in most cases, it’s easier to avoid driving. “Even though you’re in a suburb, you have to walk 200 or 300 meters to your car,” he says. “So for everyday things, it’s easier to walk or bike.”

The designers are currently working on the master plan for the area, so the details of individual buildings haven’t yet been decided. But the neighborhood will be energy neutral, and when development begins in a few years, buildings will use the best technology available at the time. Because the area is prone to flooding, the designers are working with engineers to plan a system of canals, green roofs, and other green spaces that can absorb water to protect buildings when it rains. The neighborhood will also offer farming space for residents.

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